Mitsubishi Barbarian – new car review

Mitsubishi Barbarian

Mitsubishi Barbarian

Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian – new car review

Mitsubishi began developing cars 100 years ago and has a long-proven reputation for producing tough vehicles – none more so that its L200 pick up.
 
There are several body styles available and the double-cab is popular because it overlaps the trendy SUV market, combining family transport with rugged workhorse capability.
 
The pick-up sector is surprisingly crowded, with rivals models from Toyota, Ford and Nissan among others in the mix, yet Mitsubishi’s robust brand image and competitive pricing ensure it maintains a loyal following.
 
Prices start at £18,300 excluding VAT though high-spec double cab versions can top £30,000.
 

Beneficial tax break

One attraction of the pick-up is the tax break available to drivers using one tonne-plus capacity commercial vehicles for private mileage.
 
Our test model was an L200 double-cab in high-spec SVP Barbarian trim and priced at £28,775 excluding VAT.
 
For that you get 17-inch black alloys with all-terrain tyres, leather seats, roof rails, wheel-arch extensions, side-steps, premium HD navigation and audio system, dual zone climate control, keyless operation, rear view camera, selectable 4WD, and even front and rear mood-lighting among its kit.

Excellent acceleration from the Mitsubishi Barbarian

The modern efficient 2.4 litre 178 hp diesel engine is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox (auto transmission is an option) and the acceleration figure is very good by class standards, 0-60 mph in 10.4 seconds, similar to many cars.
 
Fuel economy is also good for such a large vehicle – 39.8 mpg combined.
 
The L200 has a payload of just over one tonne and a 3,100 kg towing weight (3,000kg for single cab).
 

Continue reading

Citroën Berlingo Multispace – a practical exception to the compact MPV rule

Citroën Berlingo Multispace

Citroën Berlingo Multispace new car review

Citroën Berlingo Multispace – new car review

The car world is awash with trendy crossover and compact MPVs, some with more accent on image than practicality, but the Citroën Berlingo Multispace is a notable exception.
 
The Multispace is van-based and while the designers have made the frontal profile sleek and smart, the rear retains the boxy look of a van, and to many potential buyers this is actually a plus point. For while rival models lose load space due lower roof lines, sloping tailgates and intruding wheelarches, the taller Multispace offers an amazing 3,000 litres of space, making it attractive to families and business users.
 
Available in petrol, diesel and even electric form, and with 5 or 7 seats, the Multispace is priced from £17,510 and one of the most popular versions features the 1.6 litre diesel unit which offers good fuel economy and low emissions.
 
My mid-range Flair had this engine, which offers 98 hp and has a reasonable 0-60 mph time of 12.4 seconds and top speed of 103 mph. Fuel economy is very good at 65.7 mpg combined.
 
In 5-seat version costs £19,705 and standard kit includes 7-inch touchscreen, cruise control and speed limiter, fuel-saving stop-start, air-conditioning, cruise control, aircraft-style folding tables, DAB radio with USB Bluetooth and media streaming, handy sliding rear doors, alloy wheels, privacy glass, roof bars and plenty of cabin stowage space including a shelf above the windscreen.
 
On the road, the Multispace drives well with low noise levels, slick 5-speed gearshift, and light accurate steering. The driving position may be a little upright for some but you do get good all- round visibility, and ride quality is comfortable. Its van platform means it doesn’t have quite the handling agility of a crossover but then that won’t concern many potential buyers in this class.
 
What will impress them is the amount of money they will save over a comparable crossover or compact MPV, and the amount of load capacity and versatility they will gain. Seating is very comfortable and there is excellent head and leg room for five occupants and a whopping 675 litres of boot space even with the rear seat in use. Folded, you get 3,000 litres.
 
The Berlingo Multispace is certainly not best-looker in the sector but it is still attractively styled and offers a blend of true practicality, decent equipment levels and pleasant driving feel at a price that rivals find very hard to match.
 
FOR: Huge load-space, plenty of standard kit, excellent fuel economy.
AGAINST: Only the ‘uncool’ look!